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How to Avoid Automation Overload for Pet Bloggers

Boxtongueby: Carol Bryant

Does the following sound familiar? 

Your autoresponder is
talking to my autoresponder that then retweets my timed Facebook post?

Though it seems a bit ridiculous, the time is now and the above
is happening somewhere at this very moment. In this fast-paced world, social media processes change in the click of a barely there micro-sized mouse.
How much is too much of an automated process and when should you really be
there, in the moment and engaged?

How many of these processes are you automating and how many
are you actually engaging with IRL (in real time):

Curating: This is all the buzz and when done well, it can
and is an incredible asset to a pet blogger. Content curation involves
collecting, sorting, and reporting information found online in a way that gives
credit to the original source. Content that is relevant and shareable about a
particular topic can become good blogger fodder if researched and presented
properly. To constantly rely on curation and/or present it in such a way that
any sense of originality is drained is, simply stated, the pits. Too much of a
good thing truly can be a bad thing.Proceed with curated caution.

Automated Tweets: BlogPaws encourages the use of timed
tweets using whatever app or program suits you best. If you are unable to be
online 24/7 (note: that's everyone, everywhere), we encourage you to spread updates out over the
course of the day, whenever you want them to be seen. The downside to this is
failing to connect with those who might ask questions, retweet your tweets, or
becoming so automated that the whole “human” element of social media goes down
the drain.

On a side but related note, use caution with hashtags. Hashtags
are all the rage on Instagram but the same does not apply to Twitter: Use
sparingly and with purpose. Do not overuse hashtags or @usernames. This
is one of the things that cause the biggest loss of followers. Well that, and
if you are overly promotional. No one likes to hear someone constantly talk
about themselves. So don’t do it.

Scheduled Facebook Posts: Facebook allows you to schedule
your page posts, and Social Media Examiner has a great post on this topic. The
downside to scheduling a post, once again, involves the lack of following up.
Did you ever talk to someone who gets their point across, but when you attempt
to reply or chime in their interest is lost? If you schedule a post, be sure to
interact with folks who reply.

Sending the Same Content Everywhere: A big no-no! What you
tell me on Facebook will bore me if I see the exact same message on Twitter,
then Google +, then Instagram and more of the same over the next few days. Try
rephrasing a post to keep it fresh. What you post on Monday should be modified/rewritten
for Facebook posting on Wednesday, and then tweak with a fresh punch for Google + on a
Friday…if you plan to repurpose content.

Tools like HootSuite enable
you to schedule your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ updates in advance, so if
you use an auto-scheduler, be certain to come back and engage in real time.

Leverage social networks according to their purpose. If you
auto-push the same content on every social media network, followers will get
bored. Facebook allows for longer explanations than the 140 characters on
Twitter, so use that space for visuals and insightful commentary. Google + is a
very rapidly growing network that embraces images, so leverage G+ for that purpose.
Repeating a message is condoned, being redundant and boring is frowned upon. On
Google +, ensure that every one of your updates includes at least one quality
image. Since Google+ is a multi-column layout, without a large quality image,
your post might not be seen nor stand out.

Be Fresh: Are you on Instagram?
I know, one more social media network (insert eye roll here). Instagram now
has a video option. Use it wisely. If you've ever posted a photo on Facebook,
you have a pretty good understanding of how Instagram works. Pictures that make
you want to stop in your tracks get the most comments and attention. People
with a lot of followers pretty much get a lot of likes. One way to avoid being
stale is to use Instagram video, which features an embed code for your blog.

Do you use Pinterest? Post images from your blog to Pinterest and
organize the boards in a user-friendly easy-to-understand fashion. Find out if
your blog has been pinned by checking in at http://pinterest.com/source/ADD YOUR URL HERE.

If you are working on a social media strategy and spinning
your wheels all day long, you can experience a social media burnout. Avoid it
by automating but keep it fresh by using the above tips and being original.

Got a tip for staying fresh without becoming redundant? Let us know in the comments below.

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